Heidegger and the Problem of Phenomena




2023.01.1 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Fredrik Westerlund, Heidegger and the Problem of Phenomena, Bloomsbury Academic, 2020, 288pp., $39.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781350262331.

Reviewed by Jussi Backman, University of Jyväskylä

Fredrik Westerlund’s Heidegger and the Problem of Phenomena presents a chronological account of Heidegger’s evolving reflections on the phenomenological method he inherited from Husserl and its inherent concept of phenomena, reflections characterized by a fluctuating but constantly critical altercation with certain basic tendencies of the Husserlian approach. The first part of the study (chapters 1–3) focuses on Heidegger’s earliest 1919–21 Freiburg lectures, which tentatively emphasize the need to increase phenomenology’s sensitivity to pretheoretical or “factical” life as it is concretely lived in existential situations. The second part (chapters 4–8) looks at the emergence of Heidegger’s project of fundamental ontology, culminating in Being and Time (1927), from a deepened awareness of the historical and temporal finitude, situatedness, and context-sensitivity of human access to meaningful…

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